USITC Investigates Infringement of Macronix’s Patents By Spansion’s Microcontrollers and Flash Memories
Spansion’s MCUs are now at risk of being excluded from the U.S. market
HSINCHU, Aug. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Macronix International Co., Ltd. (TSE: 2337) and Macronix America, Inc., global leaders in non-volatile memory solutions, announced that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), an agency of the U.S. government with the authority to exclude the importation into the U.S. of infringing goods, is investigating Spansion’s microcontroller units (MCUs) which may infringe certain Macronix’s patents. As a result, Spansion’s MCUs and products containing these MCUs are now at risk of being excluded from the U.S. market because of Spansion’s widespread infringement of Macronix’s patent rights.
Spansion acquired its MCU business from Fujitsu in August of 2013 in an effort, according to its own public statements, to expand its market and to offer a broader product line targeting advanced automotive, and industrial and consumer products.
In the first ITC investigation into Spansion’s infringement of three Macronix patents, Spansion had tried to keep its MCUs out of the ITC investigation. However, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) presiding over this ITC investigation disagreed and ruled that Spansion’s MCUs is within the scope of the ITC’s wide-ranging investigation into Spansion’s accused devices. A trial in this first investigation will be held in October 2014, and the ALJ is expected to issue his determination in early 2015. If the ITC finds that Spansion’s accused devices, including flash memory and MCUs, infringe any of Macronix’s patents, it may issue an exclusion order barring Spansion’s infringing devices, and the products of Spansion’s customers containing such components, from further importation into the United States. Along with the exclusion order, the ITC may also issue cease and desist orders prohibiting further commerce in the United States involving infringing Spansion devices, including flash memory and MCUs, and products containing any of these devices.
In addition to this first investigation, the ITC recently instituted a second investigation against Spansion and its subsidiaries, as well as numerous Spansion customers including Aerohive Networks, Inc., Allied Telesis, Inc., Ciena Corporation, Delphi Automotive PLC and Delphi Automotive Systems, LLC, Polycom, Inc., Ruckus Wireless, Inc., ShoreTel Inc., Tellabs, Inc., Tellabs North America, Inc., and TiVo Inc. Despite Spansion’s attempt to convince the agency not to investigate its MCUs, the ITC expressly rejected Spansion’s attempt by announcing in the ITC’s own July 29, 2014 press release that “[t]he products at issue in this investigation are non-volatile memory devices such as flash memory and microcontrollers, and products containing the same.”
Macronix has requested these ITC investigations to protect its intellectual property rights and its customers, and is confident in the merits of its positions. Macronix will continue to vigorously protect its valuable intellectual property rights against infringement and other unlawful activities.
About Macronix International Co., Ltd.
Macronix, a leading integrated device manufacturer in the Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) market, provides a full range of NOR Flash, NAND Flash, and ROM products. With its world-class R&D and manufacturing capability, Macronix continues to deliver high-quality, innovative and performance driven products to its customers in the consumer, communication, computing, automotive, networking and other segment markets.
For more information, please visit the Macronix’s website: www.macronix.com
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